Thanks, is there any official policy around the requirement to be a Canadian resident at the time of Oath?
No. At least not other than the basic requirement to have valid Permanent Resident status.
So long as the qualified applicant for citizenship properly responds to communications, timely appears for scheduled events, and does not become inadmissible (no breach of the PR Residency Obligation or involvement in serious criminality), and otherwise does not commit crimes or other acts constituting a prohibition, there is nothing about being outside Canada after applying that disqualifies a PR's eligibility for citizenship.
In particular, there is NOTHING that prohibits living outside Canada while an application for citizenship is pending.
That hardly tells the whole tale
, however, since there are aspects about living abroad that can affect how things go. Some of this has to do with just how the circumstances of living abroad can elevate the same risks ALL applicants have
, such as:
-- the risk of non-routine processing related to verifying the applicant meets the actual physical presence requirement
-- the risk of missing communications and failing to timely respond or appear for a scheduled event
Some has to do with risks more specifically associated with being outside Canada, such as potential delays in processing if the local office handling the application requires applicants to provide IRCC with specific information about when the applicant will "return
" to Canada, or even (which appears to be the case in some local offices) will put final approval and scheduling the oath more or less on hold UNTIL the applicant verifies they have returned to Canada.
Applicants will need to return to Canada to take the oath.
(just some) local offices appear to require applicants inform them of a date certain for return, and some appear to even require confirmation the applicant has in fact returned, before the oath will be scheduled. But in any event, the applicant will need to actually be IN Canada to participate in taking the oath, whether online or in person.
Those who are going abroad for an extended period of time should not be distracted or confused by the fact there have been isolated, RARE
instances, in which citizenship applicants have been allowed to complete the process and take the oath while they are outside Canada. This is clearly extremely UNUSUAL
, and it is NOT a local office decision but a decision that must be made at the CPC by high level officials and probably affirmed by the Minister personally. Although it happens, it really is not on the radar; no point wasting effort chasing phantoms down that rabbit hole.
Sure, i will inform them at the time of test/oath, if i am outside. My question is about telling them upfront as i read somewhere that any travel over 2 weeks needs to be informed?
The IRCC instruction to notify it if an applicant for citizenship will be traveling abroad for longer than two weeks is about maintaining contact, timely responding to communications from IRCC, and scheduling events without need for rescheduling. How to approach this is largely a personal decision which, of course, should be made with due consideration given to the individual applicant's situation. This is almost exclusively a logistical matter. It is mostly about what the applicant needs to do to be sure to timely get communications from IRCC, including queries, requests for information or action, or notice of a scheduled event.
The risk of missing a communication, of failing to respond to requests timely, or failing to appear as scheduled for an event, is on the applicant. The risk increases anytime an applicant is separated from their primary contact location. Even traveling within Canada, let alone abroad, increases the risk of missing communications from IRCC. This is greatly reduced these days due to the use of email. But not all communications are via email, even if most are and this leans toward nearly all . . . but there are indications IRCC still attempts to contact some clients by telephone and in some circumstances by paper in regular mail.
Some Further Observations and Clarifications:
Contrary to the way many forum participants frame questions about being abroad after applying, there is a real difference between TRAVEL outside Canada and LIVING or relocating outside Canada. And even though there is no direct legal effect in terms of qualifying for a grant of citizenship, in some situations it can make a big difference in how it goes.
This is something I have discussed at some length several times, in multiple threads here. I don't mean to revisit this now, here. It's a subject rife with nuance and variability, prone to pitfalls and (largely manufactured) controversy.
For those who leave Canada to live abroad after applying but persist in describing that as "travel
" abroad, that is enough to implicate if not expose a more or less obvious agenda. Good luck with that.
For those focused on how to best navigate the system, considering how things actually work as best we can figure that out, notwithstanding the plethora of bad examples appearing to reap success otherwise, the best approach, the approach that tends to work best most of the time, is to be honest, and that starts with being honest with oneself and perhaps depends most on being honest with oneself. And in regard to this particular subject, there is little if anything at all to be gained by not approaching this honestly; living abroad after applying does not disqualify the applicant, so the best approach is to deal with it, and how it can affect the process, straight up.
So, you do not need to be in Canada to get oath invite.
I do not believe they put your application on hold. [pending applicant's return to Canada]
NOT all local offices approach this the same. It can VARY and as scores of anecdotal reporting illustrates, it does VARY.
Moreover, it is highly likely that individual circumstances can have some or a lot of influence in how this goes. As some have suggested, particular location abroad probably has some influence. But very specific details, like the extent to which the applicant applied with a margin over the minimum physical presence requirement, very likely have some influence.
Based on my observation, most likely you'll have an interview that may prolong the process.
There has indeed been sufficient anecdotal reporting to indicate, during the age of Covid, that applicants known or perceived to be living outside Canada have had a higher risk of a required interview following the knowledge of Canada test. It warrants noting, however, that PI (Program Integrity) interviews are a routine part of the process and the still applicable (but not fully followed) PDIs (Program Delivery Instructions) STILL state that ALL adult applicants will be interviewed. These were largely suspended for some time as part of the measures to deal with the Covid situation. The fact that it appears applicants abroad are among the first and more likely applicants IRCC is requiring to participate in an interview makes sense (on many levels; should be no need to dive into those weeds here) and is not much of a surprise. Otherwise, however, going forward it is highly likely that more and more adult applicants will be subject to the routine PI interview, as IRCC continues to migrate toward a post-Covid return to routine/normal processing.